Madden 17 Meta Report – Offense – 12/12/16

The Madden 17 Meta Report aims to provide the community with the most popular plays run online. Whether to help your own scheme or to see what people run in order to help you stop it, the Madden 17 Meta Report can be used many different ways like God’s greatest creation, the spork.

And while it is a long list below it doesn’t come close to fully capturing every play run online. I along with other, better players thought these showed up more frequently than others. So if you have a unique scheme or have gone against one that isn’t on the list below, tweet me at and I’ll try and work it into the next report.

So let’s finish with the intro. Here’s what we think are the most popular plays run in online Head to Head. Special thanks to Owned at Worms and Embrythegh0st for helping out with some formation suggestions.

All art from EA and images from

Plays Run In Multiple Formations

The chameleons of the Madden playbook, the first set of plays and concepts are seen in many different formations and sometimes run very differently based on adjustments and hot routes. You will see many of the concepts here in the specific formations I have listed further down.

Without further ado:



To run this play you need to read the outside corners. Backed off CBs, go to the out routes, Hard Flat CBs, go to the corner.

Shut it down by having purple zones on top of hard flats. Although purple routes are broken like a married man’s spirit and don’t always cover the corner routes.

Four Verticals

Four Verticals.png

Anyone who played Madden 16 knows how to run this play. The crossing route is tough against man and zone and the RB gets a speed boost on his route here. There are many different ways and formations that run this. Find one you like and add it to the arsenal.

Many ways to beat it but 2 man under with a DE in a flat route and the user covering the crosser defeats it nicely.

Inside Zone

Inside Zone.png

An OP play in Madden 16, it’s still is effective in 17. It’s a better run when the HB is behind the QB. Many shotgun formations have this play as an audible and it’s a good audible to have, like our sponsor audibl…nevermind.  But I will say, the draw play below has quickly caught up to it as one of the top meta runs in 17.


HB Draw.png

This play caught me and many others off guard as one of the biggest surprises from the Madden Classic tournament. We saw many competitors use the draw play to pick up good yards on the run. It should be an effective tool in your shed, except those sheds that come off blocks tend to shut it down.

Best used when an opponent is running overload pressure as the players dropping off the line on the opposite side of the blitz give you some nice easy yards to pick up.

HB Dive

HB Dive.png

A simple tool for the uncomplicated man. Run it down their throats. Just make sure to pick the right hole. Oftentimes a struggle for many men. The throat hole is good enough here.

FB Dive

FB Dive.png

FB Dive and it’s kissing cousin Fake FB Dive HB Toss are great tools to pick up a couple yards as well as a couple hate messages when spammed.



I don’t think anyone would disagree with you if you said the stretch was OP at the start of Madden 17. It’s been tuned down severely as of late but still it can get you some nice yards when the blocks set up. Be ready to cut inside if the force defender sets the edge too far up field.

HB Counter

HB Counter Pistol.png

Absolutely broken at the start of Madden 17 when run in tandem with stretch, it’s effectiveness has also been tuned by the Madden devs in patches. There are still a lot of instances where if you don’t get a user to the hole or the blocks set up right regardless of what you do on defense, your opponent is sprinting for 80 of the easiest yards he’ll ever pick up.

Trail/Texas Routes

Trail or Texas route.png

A good way to mix up a user and pick up some yards. Though many top end users will bait you on the drag and go to the trail so watch yourself when throwing it.


Screen HB.png

Improvised screens are dead since downfield blocking is, but these screens are often a nice tool to use once or twice a game. Watch the opponents user. Good to use when you know he’s gonna be looking for a deep post or corner route. Many games have been turned on a screen touched by an Urlacher, Barr or Shazier and run for 6 going the other way.

But with these plays you will often find yourself frustrated at your linemen not doing a wonderful job finding blocks. They aren’t as bad as non EA created screens (improvised screens) though. Still, improved downfield blocking intelligence needs to be an area EA looks at going forward.

WR Screens

Screen WR.png

Great tool against zone coverage, the WRs actually lock on blocks. Get someone shifty to catch the ball and some good run blocking WRs or TEs to lead you to glory.



Double drags are really hard to stop unless cross manned. They can shade underneath or user them but you can counter that by going to the corner route/post or the other drag his user doesn’t cover.

Anything with a Z and/or wheel route (switch concept)

Z route.png

A ‘Z’ Route is the route from the far right WR. It makes a Z looking shape. It gets in front of the deep safety in a cover 2 and 3. With enough time and finesse you can get it for a 1 play TD against cover 4. It’s a lot harder with less room for error in 17 vs. 16 but it’s still possible when you streak the WR on the inside.

You can also throw the wheel route quick against cover 3 or wait until it crosses over the top of the cover 2 flat zone for a significant pickup.

Corner Strike

Corner Strike.png

C routes are love, C routes are life. Any play with a C route on the field instantly becomes better. They kill man and many zones when thrown correctly. On this singleback formation look to the flats first. If they back their zones off too far when the ball is snapped. Easy 4-7 yards.

Z Spot

Z Spot singleback Ace.png

Corner routes will be a theme of the meta report. In the singleback formation above you can streak the left TE for a clear-out and slant the left WR underneath. This gives you have quick reads to the right and the left.

Gun Split close

From here on out we’ll be going through popular plays in popular formations online. Many of the above are in these formations too but we won’t be going over many of them again. I did include a couple if I had more thoughts on them to give.

HB Wheel

HB Wheel.png

Skinny posts are hard to cover by the CPU. They need to be covered by the user so any time we get a “must user” route we want to exploit it.

So slant the far right WR and choose either to throw under the user with the slant or over him with the skinny post. The flat route and corner route make a nice flood concept. The flat route is usually open because most people leave their coverage on cloud flats and not hard flats.

PA F Slide

PA F Slide.png

I see this run both stock and by slanting the left WR to try and confuse the user by giving too many levels and crosses to cover.

WR Corner

WR Corner.png

You don’t see this much anymore because the post and C route get too close to each other. This makes it more dangerous to throw with the amount of top end users out there.

FB Inside/Power O for runs

FB Inside.png

Power O.png

The FB dive is only in a few PBs like the Steelers. So the main run out of split close is the Power O. It needs good run blockers and a patient hole finder to work.

Gun Bunch Weak

PA Post

PA Post.png

Post pattern again…notice a trend? C route on the backside to defeat man and get over the top of cover 2/3 flat zones and in front of deep zones. You can either streak the TE, drag him or leave him on the flat depending on what part of the field you want to exploit. If left on the flat, throw earlier rather than later.


Verticals bunch.png

Fade the inside WR, motion the wheel route out, wait until he fully sets, throw quick against cover 3/4, wait a bit against cover 2 and hit it over the top for a huge gain.

Best covered by manning up that outside WR and usering the post.

Z Spot

Z Spot.png

Similar to the z-spot mentioned above but this one has a Z route on single WR which allows for a nice backside throw inside the CB and under the safeties with a down and right pass lead. You also have a corner and flat route on the right creating a sail concept and the delayed hook in is a nice check down.

Gun Bunch TE

PA All Cross

PA All Cross.png

Fade TE and watch the levels. Generally the drag route is going to be open first. Cross manning or a good user jumping from level to level like Mario works well against it.

TE Corner

TE Corner.png

Posts and corners are a big part of the meta. So a play that matches the number of posts and corners to a Bengals fan’s IQ will give us a lot of options. It can be run a bunch of different ways besides stock:

  1. Motion the left inside post route to the outside left to give a post/corner concept on left.
  2. Streak TE on right, drag the corner, motion out the out route and slant it. Levels concept with a delayed slant.
  3. Motion the corner route on left to the right of screen, streak TE, in route out route, block HB and wait for the post to get behind cover 3 for 1 play TD
  4. Streak left post route, slant TE (optionally motion him out right.) Look for quick high pass to streak, then either out route and corner route and finally slant route coming across middle.
  5. Streak out route on left, drag TE for flood concept.
  6. Many other variations, it’s versatile play


HB Draw.png

Great against guys who send pressure off an edge and drop linemen into coverage. Run to the guys that are falling off the LOS and you’ll pick up some chunk yardage like yards picked up my chunks in college. Okay that was a little too far.

But the draw is great for this meta of overload pressure. It works really well in Gun Bunch TE and it’s why I’m highlighting it again when it’s already been talked about it above. We saw this formation and this play run a lot in the Madden Classic.

Singleback Deuce Close

HB Wham

HB Wham.png

A solid run play that traps the DT with the TE like a girl at the club with an Adam’s apple traps unsuspecting sailors. Will be shut down by a pinched d-line and sober friends.

PA Misdirection

PA Misdirection.png

You can either leave it stock and look to the TE in the flats or run it with a few audibles. I use it 80% of the time with the TE on the left slanted, RB blocked then look slants to post pattern. But with the stock post and corner you have multiple ways to skin this cat.

TE Angle

TE Angle.png

Block RB, reads in this order are quick high pass to streak, drag route, trail route, corner route.

User it by baiting drag route to trail route.

Gun Tight Offset TE – Rams/Saints playbooks

Rams Y Out

Rams Y Out.png

Another play another post pattern. The TE out on the right destroys man coverage as it’s a speed out. I frequently run this play with the left corner in a slant, the right TE in a streak, motion out the drag and look to the levels concept and hit the post if the user is no where near.

Spot Corner

Spot Corner.png

Can be run stock or with minor adjustments. Reads for running it stock are flats, corner on right, C route on left, check down to WR in the middle.

Singleback Jumbo

Counter Wk

 Counter Wk.png

Make sure you have good blockers out there at TE and WR. You also need speedy guards and tackles to pull. Wait for the blockers to engage and run behind them. I didn’t say this above but hold off right trigger until you are past the LOS.

Singleback Bunch

PA End Around

PA End Around.png

It’ll never be as good as Madden 15 but the RB gets a nice speed boost out of the backfield. Look there first but if the guy is in cover 2 hard flat the TE is a great resource over the top. Just watch out for that pesky user.



You can copy the description here from the verticals in the gun bunch weak above. I won’t do that because it’s plagiarism but the plays are run almost exactly the same. Coming out of the singleback bunch just offers more variety to your offense.

Pistol Bunch TE – See video breakdown:


Verticals Pistol.png

Watch the video above. Usually you want to slant the TE.

Against cover 2 it’s a one play TD with the wheel route WR. Against cover 3 you can slant the streaking middle WR for levels concept. Always take what the defense gives you. Even if that means going back and back to the HB drag route.

Strong Power

Strong Power.png

Good mobility on your guards is essential here. Will Shields is not the guard you’re looking for. Usually run flipped to the WR side, you can leave it as is if they stack that side with defenders.

Cross Drags

Cross Drags.png

Crossing patterns offers levels concept. We’ve touched on levels frequently in the Meta report, avoid the user and you should be golden.

I form tight pair

Power o

Power O iform tight pair.png

Power runs from I form seem to be the rage online. The pulling guards help seal off any run fits you might have in that hole. Backside pursuit and front side usering help to muddy the hole can effectively shut this down.

Full back dive (with the hurdle)

FB Dive.png

We talked about the FB dive above, but this one is frequently run with a TE or HB that has over 90 jumping like Jimmy Graham. You can left trigger jump over the line and pick up an easy 4 yards this way. This type of run seems like it’ll be nerfed in a patch. A potential fix is to increase the fumbling chance to near what regular dives have now.


counter wk i form.png

The counter was touched upon earlier like a drunk uncle tends to touch you in the fun parts but I wanted to highlight it out of this formation because you see it out of this I form as much as you do out of other, similar formations like the singleback. It’s equally effective from both so watch out. A good user is needed to get in there to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Gun/singleback Snugs

PA Cross

PA Cross.png

This play is standing in for any play with that deep corner type route on the right. I see the route out of snugs a lot because of the streak distracting the user and the drag across the middle bringing the flats and purples downward. Anything with that sort of deep corner route kills cover 2. The light blues and purples do not cover it well at all. You can find this in the Steelers and Saints PBs to name a couple.

Gun Ace Twins

Levels Sail

Levels sail.png

We’ve talked about the sail concept ad nauseum in the Meta report. The arrow out of the backfield is strong especially when combined with a corner route. You can motion over the Middle WR to the far side and streak him to act as a clearout but I don’t mind running it stock. Streaking the TE on the left and dragging/slanting the WR underneath is another good clearout read to make.



HB angle routes are great. The post and corner routes also good. This play has a lot of what we like in 17, giving us pretty simple reads.

PA Verts

PA Verts.png

Another formation, another one with verts. Slant the TE and baby we got a stew going.

In Conclusion

I hope you all enjoyed the first rendition of the Madden 17 Meta Report. Let me know what I can do improve it in the future. Comments below are helpful. Tweet me with any suggestions and make sure to check out my channel at and to watch me run a full meta offense.

Rookie NFL Players with the best chance of starting and producing

Today I’m going to go through rookies and whether it would be smart to invest in them to make the sets for next year’s dynamic ratings. So we need to project both their playing time and if they are going to be productive for their teams. Their Madden rating won’t go up without both.

And make sure to check out rookie ratings in the base game here. Take every one of those base overall ratings and subtract about 6 points or so to get their starting MUT rating.

Jared Goff – QB

According to ESPN’s staff writer Nick Wagoner, Jared Goff will be the opening day starter. They said they are re-vamping the passing offense this year which would make sense with the investment they just made in Goff. But we’ll see if Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt and Lance Kendricks can be the guys Jared Goff wants them to be. It would be surprising to say the least if his production as a rookie QB puts him among the league’s best. Invest here with high skepticism.

Rating: 3 (1-5 with 5 being the best bet)

Carson Wentz – QB

He might not be active on game day since Philly has a three QB carousel. Wentz is a long term project as talked about by Eagles staff. Bradford is number one for the Eagles right now and Chase Daniel is the highest paid backup in the league. He’s paid better than a lot of starters right now. Both Bradford and Daniels would have to be injured for Wentz to see the field. Not a smart set to invest in. But then again a lot of us invested in beanie babies so do what you want.

Rating: 1

Ezekiel Elliot – HB

Girlfriend problems but it’s been said that she’s trying to blackmail him. I wish I was worthy of blackmail, that’s my kink. We’ll see how that turns out but in football news it’s been reported that he’s already earned the number 1 spot over McFadden and Morris. Big props to McFadden’s broken elbow earned from trying to save his phone from falling. Hashtag just Dallas things.

Rating: 5

Derrick Henry – HB

Backing up DeMarco Murray at the moment. Either Murray is ‘Dallas Murray’ and Henry is only a support player getting 5-10 touches a game or Murray is ‘Eagle Murray’ and Henry takes the reins early on and gets 15-20 touches. If the latter Henry will be an okay investment with the only concern being that the Titans line is one of the worst in the league. I’m not overly optimistic about anyone running behind it like I’m not overly optimistic anyone will remember the Titans this year.

Rating: 2

Corey Coleman – WR

He’s the starting WR in Cleveland who stands 5’11 and 190 pounds. WR’s that are good in Madden are tall and fast. He’s not tall but he’s fast as he ran a 4.37 at his pro day. His starting speed should be 93 or so which is valuable. But will he be productive and will his stats rise during the season? How much do you trust Josh McCown and RG3 to get him the ball? RG3 is a better deep ball guy so if you get Coleman hope RG3 gets the keys to Cleveland as Coleman goes streaking as well as the best of them. For me I trust the situation about as much as I would Adrian Peterson with my kids.

Rating: 3

Braxton Miller – WR

It’s hard to see him making a major impact on the field next year. But he’s fast and that’s valuable in Madden. His projected lack of targets makes him a hard sell if you are looking for him to make plays and improve through the year. So take him if you want a playmaker early on but don’t expect his value to hold steady or go up through the year. He’s like a gas station burrito, great for a quick fix but you won’t be too happy with yourself a little down the line.

Rating: 2

Laquon Treadwell – WR

He’s slow and even though he might get targets in Minnesota, slow WR’s have no place in Madden unless they can block well. HIs 58 run blocking on his 95 overall card doesn’t bode well for his Madden 17 card. I would pass on this set like we pass on Grandma’s potato salad. Get me sick once, shame on you, get me sick twice, I won’t get sick again.

Rating: 1

Hunter Henry – TE

What a great name. It’s no Hannah Hunt but it’s close. Madden’s not in love with his run blocking but he’s got great athleticism. Will he overtake Antonio Gates to get a bunch of targets, yards and TD’s as a rookie? It’s within the realm of possibilities with his skill set. I don’t know if the chances of that happening are particularly high.

Rating: 2

Ronnie Stanley – LT

Offensive tackles coming out of the draft have not performed particularity well in recent years. The Ravens have one of the best right sides in the league in Zuttah, Yanda and Wagner. The loss of Kelechi Osemele hurts the left side. So Stanley gets the starting nod and has as good of a chance at any rookie to provide production.

Rating: 4

Laremy Tunsil – RT (in Madden)

He’s moving to guard this year from his position of tackle in college. I’m not high on interior linemen making enough noise to move up or down ratings. Too bad his coaches can’t pay for his Madden rating to up for us.

Miami had a bad o-line last year but it does look a little better this year. I’m not a fan of investing in guards and I think you’d have to be in a gas mask of smoke to think he’d be a good one to invest in.

He’s not even in the NFL and is already involved in two scandals. At least it makes for easy jokes. And I’ll always go for cheap laughs.

Rating: 2

DeForest Buckner – LE

A 3-4 RE moving onto a team he’ll retire from. You can take that either as he’s really loyal or he’ll be gone before his rookie contract is up.  Him, Armstead and Ian Williams should provide a decent front 3 in their 3-4 scheme. He’ll start at the beginning of the year and should be productive enough in the 49ers scheme to get some points added. He won’t rack up the numbers like JJ Watt but I’d say he’s a fairly good bet to improve through the year.

Rating: 3

Joey Bosa – RE

Buckner is a 3-4 end and Bosa is a 4-3 end. Madden still can’t properly balance 4-3 defensive ends with 3-4 OLBs. So even though Bosa might be one of the more productive rookies, his card will always be nerfed by his competition at 3-4 OLB. He’ll be the starting left end in San Diego and should have all the opportunity to increase in rating. I’m not a fan of his balanced pass rush ratings they gave him in the base game so I think his stats improving won’t help him too much as it’s generally better to be high in either finesse or power moves. A jack of all trades but a master of no pressure.

Rating: 3

Kenny Clark – DT

Sitting behind Letroy Guion, Clark is not a starter in Green Bay. I’d put money that he’ll factor in with some play time through the year. I doubt he’ll get enough without an injury to Guion to realistically keep up with the rest of MUT’s overalls increasing. Unless something unforeseen happens, I don’t see a hugely productive rookie year from him.

Rating: 1

Sheldon Rankins – DT

Currently listed as the starter in New Orleans he’s a much better bet to get playing time than Clark. Unfortunately that playing time is in New Orleans where their levies hold up much better than their defense. But just having PT makes him the safer defensive tackle to get upgrades through the regular season. He was drafted 12 overall so the talent and opportunity is there for a solid season ahead.

Rating: 4

Leonard Floyd – LOLB

On the depth chard he’s currently sitting behind Lamar Houston in Chicago who has himself a pretty big free agent deal to earn. I do expect plenty of rotation on the field for Floyd even with Houston and McPhee there.

But unless he comes out like gangbusters I don’t see him playing full time and racking up a ton of statistics. The benefit of Floyd is that he’s 6’6 with decent speed. Will it be enough to make him a great user early? I’m not in love with the spec catch in 16 but we’ll see how much love they give it in 17. He’s a solid person to own early on but I don’t know how much ceiling he has sharing playing time in Chicago.

Rating: 3

Darron Lee – MLB

Currently behind both Erin Henderson and David Harris on the Jets depth chart. He still hasn’t signed his rookie contract so watch out for that. He’s got really good speed for a linebacker so he might have the makings of very good user at the beginning of the year. I worry with a potential camp holdout (although it’s doubtful). On the positive, Henderson is just a guy. I do expect Lee to see the field quite frequently through the year so with the way he runs, Darron Lee should provide good value for your team next year.

Rating: 4

Shaq Lawson – ROLB

He underwent shoulder surgery and should be back by November. That’s a little late in the year to get value for your team. And even if he was healthy, Rex Ryan took one of the best pass rushers of our generation and made him average. I can’t see it going better for Shaq this year.

Rating: Negative sideways 8

Jalen Ramsey – CB

Didn’t have a ton of interceptions in college so he might not put up the huge numbers that Madden devs want to see in order to increase his stats through the year. But that’s about it for the negative things I’m going to say about Ramsey. Barring injury I think he’s the best player to go after for the set seeing as he’s fast and at 6’1 tall enough to be a very good Madden corner. He should get plenty of playing time in Jacksonville so that’s not a worry. I would go after this man like Jacksonville chases British fans.

Rating: 5

Eli Apple – CB

Even faster than Ramsey and the same height. I only worry about his production on the field not giving us the same upgrades though the year that we might get with Ramsey. But still a very good choice for an early corner for your team with the added small chance he’ll get decent upgrades.

He’s currently the 3rd corner in New York behind DRC and Janoris Jenkins. He’s more comfortable on the outside but he’ll need to find a fit rotating around with the other two at the nickel. Optimistically he’ll keep up with other players in MUT and his speed and height make him a good early corner for your team.

Rating: 4

Karl Joseph

He’s coming off an ACL tear that limited him to 4 games last year in college. Reports are that he’ll be ready for training camp. Short for Madden at 5’10 but should have good hit power and speed in game. If he comes back healthy I can see him being a very productive and good safety in real life but nothing to write home about in Madden due to his small stature.

Rating: 3

Madden 17 – Improvements Wishlist

Today I give my improvement wishlist for Madden 17 because they are probably done patching Madden 16. But if they aren’t done patching then this video works for the rest of 16. Let me know what your wants are for Madden 17.

Alternate title: Gutfoxx complains constructively

My draft champions proposal:

I didn’t dedicate a video exclusively to changing the market like I said in the video. I made it my number one request to change in Madden 16 in my top ten changes video here: